Stilicho's Pictish War

Stilicho's Pictish War
Date398 (disputed)
Result Imperial victory
Western Roman Empire Picts
Commanders and leaders

Stilicho's Pictish War is a name given to a fight between the forces of the Western Roman Empire led by Stilicho and the Picts in Britain around 398 AD. Little is known about the conflict. The only real source is the panegyrics Eutropium by Claudian which means that while Stilicho was dealing with the Gildonic revolt in Africa, Britain suffered from attacks from the Saxons, Picts and Scots, and ended with "the Saxon conquered, the Ocean calmed, the Pict broken, and Britain secure." Another poem by Claudian refers to a possible expedition to Britain by Stilicho in 396-398.[1]

It has been surmised that the Picts attacked the northern frontier of Britain but were defeated. In 400 Stilicho seems to have ordered repairs to Hadrian's Wall with money raised during the African campaign. However there is no archeological evidence to support the fact the war ever took place.[2]


  1. Robert Vermaat, "Claudian", Vortigen Studies accessed 30 June 2014
  2. M. Miller "Stilicho’s Pictish War.” Brittania. Vol. 6, (1975), 141–144
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